But it’s especially bad on Monday mornings where I’m the only one leaving the house. Holiday mornings. Snow days. Teacher workdays. It’s still dark out. Everyone else is still asleep, dreaming, snuggled up tight. I drag myself out of bed, turn on the shower, try to get my mind thinking about what I have to do that day.
I try to be quiet so that no one else wakes up. No reason to prematurely start their day. I get out of the shower, mindlessly put on some work clothes, grab some truly unimaginative lunch food, listen (almost hopefully) to hear if anyone else is awake. To tell them goodbye. Maybe get a hug. Validate my existence. It’s usually nothing.
For some reason it’s easier when they are getting up too. I’m going to my job, and they’re going to theirs. Sure, their job is school or taking care of the house/kids, but it doesn’t seem fair that I should have to go be a responsible, contributing member of society while they don’t. Sure, if I did stay home, I’d probably just about instantly be bored and/or annoyed by the actual reality of spending the day wrangling kids and tackling housework. But this reality does nothing to appease my sadness as I gloomily trudge out the door.
Winters are bad, because it’s not only dark but cold. A warm spring morning, even an early one, can be rejuvenating. But cold winter mornings don’t inspire me to do anything but crawl back in bed and/or punch someone in the face.
But summers are maybe worse. Because it’s three straight months of these responsible mornings where I dutifully slog off while the rest stay behind, visions of pool parties and picnics and water balloon fights dancing in their heads. It’s hard.
I know, I know, there is a certain audience who would respond to all of the above with the predictable “#firstworldproblems” and “you’re just lucky you have a job to go to.” True. But also false. Or at least irrelevant. The reality is, this is the world I live in. These are my experiences. It’s not less real or important just because it’s not what someone else is experiencing. Not all struggles are created the same, but they are all struggles. The grass is always greener.
But my grind is my grind. And it is a grind. And my feelings are not irrelevant. I can appreciate another perspective, but don’t think it’s too much to expect the same courtesy in return. Everyone’s life is hard in its own special way.